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Archive for Sunday, January 19, 2003

Venus reaches quarterfinals

Henin-Hardenne dumps Davenport at Australian Open

January 19, 2003

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— Venus Williams had Nicole Pratt sprawling and sighing.

Justine Henin-Hardenne was in pain and fearing she was finished.

Both advanced to the quarterfinals of the Australian Open today as Henin-Hardenne came back from 1-4 and a late painful cramp to beat Lindsay Davenport 7-5, 5-7, 9-7 in 3 hours, 13 minutes.

Williams stayed on course for a fourth straight Grand Slam final against sister Serena by beating Pratt 6-3, 6-2 in 1:17.

Venus had to save 11 break points and committed 33 errors, but she offset them with 35 winners.

Henin-Hardenne, the fifth seed, went all out to win her battle with the American Davenport, who was seeded ninth.

"I thought I was going to die but I played it with my heart and just went for it," said Henin-Hardenne, the 2001 Wimbledon runner-up.

In the next-to-last game, "I was cramping and then I thought the match was over for me."

She next plays Spain's Virginia Ruano Pascual, a 6-3, 6-3 winner over Czech player Denisa Chladkova.

Venus Williams faces a quarterfinal against No. 7 Daniela Hantuchova, who extended her to three sets in the third round last year, and a possible semifinal against Henin-Hardenne.

Hantuchova, a 19-year-old from Slovakia, beat No. 12 Patty Schnyder 7-5, 6-3.

Serena, the world's top-ranked player and winner of the last three majors, plays her fourth-round match Monday against 18th-seeded Eleni Daniilidou of Greece.

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